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Michael Thamm exits as Costa Group CEO

Michael Thamm had been involved in developing Germany's cruise market since 1993. He became CEO of the Costa Group in 2012
In a surprise development, Michael Thamm, one of Carnival Corp. & plc's senior leaders over many years, has left his role as Costa Group CEO.

The change is effective immediately.

'We appreciate Michael’s contributions and wish him well in the future,' a company spokesperson told Seatrade Cruise News in a statement.

Zanetti and Eichhorn now report directly to Weinstein

Mario Zanetti, president, Costa Cruises, and Felix Eichhorn, president, AIDA Cruises, will begin reporting directly to Josh Weinstein, president & CEO, Carnival Corp.

The Costa Group CEO role will not be backfilled, the company spokesperson said.

Industry sources within and outside the company expressed surprise at Thamm's seemingly sudden departure. 

Led Costa Group since 2012

Thamm took over leadership of the Costa Group (Costa Cruises, AIDA, Iberocruceros and Carnival Maritime) in 2012, adding responsibility for Carnival Asia in 2017. He had served as AIDA president from 2004 to 2012, initiating a newbuild program that saw the fleet grow by one ship each year between 2007 and 2013.

In 2019, he became chairman of CLIA Europe.

Fostered mainstream cruising in Germany

Thamm had been a key player in developing Germany's mainstream cruise market since 1993 and positioned AIDA as the market leader. With AIDA's growth, Germany became one of the top cruise source markets globally. 

Advancing to Costa Group CEO in July 2012, he moved to Genoa and inherited the aftermath of Costa Concordia's deadly capsize earlier that year, in January, and worked to restore the Costa brand's reputation. He later would lead the company's expansion into China.

Ship exits

Recently Costa Firenze, Venezia and Luminosa transferred to the Carnival Cruise Line fleet, while Costa Magica, AIDAmira and AIDAvita were sold, and AIDAaura is scheduled to exit in September. 

After Costa retreated from Asia during the pandemic, it was announced in February that Costa Serena will restart service there on charter from June to September.